Things to do at home: 45 ideas while you're stuck in self-isolation

Things to do at home
(Image credit: ShutterStock)

We have 40 things to do at home suggestions while you're in self-isolation, and our list now includes a bunch of free ideas in case you're bored and want to save money.

Everything mentioned here can be done in the confines of your home. Think of it this way: we're your digital tour guide to help you ride out the coronavirus outbreak, and the world's seemingly indefinite confinement. Let us be your distraction from today's surreal situation, as we point you in the direction of entertaining and productive activities.

Finding things to do at home when bored has become the premier challenge we didn't foresee when making 2020 predictions. We'll keep doing our bit to help make self-isolation bearable, and keep you safe, as we all ride out these challenging times.


1. Watch Michael Jordan docuseries 'The Last Dance' 

watch The Last Dance Michael Jordan documentary online

(Image credit: VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)

Miss sports? The Last Dance fills that void, chronicling Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls dynasty team. Jordan's discipline, drive and dedication to the game is inspiring – you'll love it even if you're not a basketball fan whatsoever. 

Enough people agree with us. The Last Dance has become the most-watched ESPN documentary and lives on the ESPN+ app, where you can watch all 10 episodes. Here's how to stream The Last Dance from anywhere.

2. Watch Best Picture winner Parasite free on Hulu

Parasite movie (2019)

(Image credit: CJ Entertainment)

The 2020 Academy Awards seem like they took place ages ago (they were only three months ago), but in that time, Best Picture winner Parasite came to a streaming platform for free: Hulu.

On Wednesday, April 8, the Oscar-winning Korean-language film came to Hulu (even the basic package), and if you're a not a customer yet, you can snag a Hulu one-month free trial to watch it at no cost. Now is the time to take advantage of that deal. Otherwise, you can pay $5.99 for the movie rental at Amazon

3. Watch Pixar's Onward for free with Disney Plus


(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

Pixar, known for its big-budget CG films, is settling for a small screen premier with its latest movie: Onward. Disney launched it came out for digital purchase on March 20, while Disney Plus subscribers, as of April 3 in the US and Canada, can watch it for free (at no extra cost besides the Disney Plus subscription, of course).

We've opined that now is the best time to subscribe to Disney Plus (see the free trial offer above), at least in North America. Everyone else, like those in the UK, can still soak in episodes of the Mandalorian, The Imagineering Story and The Simpsons.

4. Watch at-home movies that released early

(Image credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

There are a number of big movies that are supposed to either still be in theaters or weren't due to be available on demand until much later. Theaters are closed down, so major studios have turned to streaming them to you at home early.

New movies to rent/buy: Scoob!, Valley Girl, Blue Story, Wendy, and Trolls: World Tour. Most are $19.99 to rent, which is steep, but cheaper than two theater tickets.

New movies to rent: Previous Amazon Home Cinema options are now price-reduced and available to rent: Sonic the Hedgehog, Bad Boys for Life, The Invisible Man, Call of the Wild, Bloodshot, Birds of Prey, The Hunt, Dolittle, Emma, I Still Believe and The Wayback.

Rentals from earlier this year: 1917,  Jumanji: The Next Level, Richard Jewell, and Bombshell, while Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has now hit pay-to-own status.

5. Watch Starz movies with this free trial offer

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Did you miss Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (or want to watch it again)? How about movies like Venom, Men In Black International, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and Zombieland 2: Double Tap. All of those passed us by, too.

We've laid out directions on how to get a Starz free trial for 30 days with a purchase of a Roku device. You may be eligible and not even realize it. Other free Starz options include subscribing with Amazon Prime Channels for a seven-day trial (if you plan to cancel, as it's $8.99 a month thereafter), or going directly to Starz to sign up for $5 a month three months ($8.99 thereafter; a better option if you're in it for the long haul).

6. Watch 'Tiger King' rule Netflix with absurdity

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Netflix series Tiger King may why our video quality  has been downgraded – we streamed all seven episodes in one sitting, and so did a lot of the world. It's our favorite true crime documentary on Netflix, surpassing The Staircase (also a winner if you haven't seen it).

Right away, Tiger King and its colorful characters border on being so ridiculous, you'd swear they're not true. PSA: we've known some big cat lovers who couldn't stand watching it for more the five minutes, so, for them, we suggest February's rave documentary miniseries instead, HBO's McMillions.

7. Watch Quibi to see if the new service is any good

(Image credit: Quibi)

Quibi launched recently and everyone's immediate first question is: what in the world is Quibi? Fair question, especially if you didn't see the Quibi Super Bowl commercial. It's a mobile-only streaming video service with big Hollywood names attached to it – in front of and behind the scenes. All of the short videos here work in landscape or portrait, and they're run time is just long enough to watch on your lunch break.

This is everyone's second question: Is Quibi worth subscribing to? Our ongoing Quibi review notes that there's a Quibi free trial that lasts 90 days, and right now that's the best asset of the service. The current lineup of shows can be hit or miss, and we're going to need time to come to a verdict on this evolving mobile streaming platform, especially as new creators come onboard.

8. Tune into late-night shows – they're back

Late night shows

(Image credit: Sling TV)

The world need comedy right now, and late-night comedians are providing just after a brief hiatus due to coronavirus self-isolation. No, they're not in their usual studios, but Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon,  Stephen Colbert, and James Corden are yucking it up at their respective home. The production quality, well, that varies. But the laughs are authentic enough that is has some charm.

There are a couple of options to tune in: Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu Live and, for the two Late Shows, CBS All Access.

9. Watch something new on Netflix or Prime Video

watch Too Hot to Handle online

(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been our saviors boredom, consistently giving us the easiest new recommendations in our weekend things to do list updates.

We're constantly talking about what's new on both services, and right now we're watching the reality Netflix TV show Too Hot To Handle (and its reunion episode) and new Amazon series Upload.

10. Watch an epic movie series in order

(Image credit: Marvel)

Nothing eats up more time than a good, long TV series, but because movies typically have bigger budgets and higher production value (outside a select few TV shows), we're switching it up (and also we ran out of TV shows to watch this weekend). Now is the perfect time to go through an entire movie franchise – in order.

There are a couple different ways to watch the Marvel movies in order, and we have the links to where you can watch most of the 23 Marvel movies (Disney Plus being the easiest way to watch a majority of them). If you're looking for things to do during the coronavirus self-isolation, this will take you a total of 60 hours.

We also have lists for how to watch Star Wars movies in order, Batman movies in order, James Bond movies in order (sadly 'No Time to Die' is on hold), Star Trek in order (including the new-ish Picard series), Harry Potter movies in order, and, if you're in the mood for some mindless Vin Diesel-helmed entertainment, Fast and Furious movies in order.

11. Moonbugs Kids free on Apple TV Channels

You probably didn't pay much attention to Apple TV Channels, which launched along with Apple TV Plus late last year, but now it's important – now that we're running out of TV shows and movies to stream for free.

While the previous free Epix deal expired on May 2, something with more kid appeal replaced it: Moonbug Kids. This is a pre-school entertainment video-on-demand video content service built by toddlers for toddlers. Okay, just kidding about that built by toddlers part.

You'll find shows like Little Baby Bum, Go Buster, My Magic Pet Morphle and many more, and the best part is that it's all free through Apple TV Channels.

12. Rewatch the iHeart Living Room Concert


(Image credit: iHeartRadio)

Coronavirus and self-isolation knows no bounds – royalty, movie stars and musicians have been affected by this novel virus. With many performers forced to cancel tours, iHeart Radio and Fox came up with an idea: stream a concert from celebrity homes. 

It raised $8 million during and after the streaming concert, with the money going to the First Responders Children's Foundation and Feeding America. The actual video is free, but you may need a cable login or VPN to watch it, depending on your location.

The hour-long video is hosted Sir Elton John, with performances by Alicia Keys, the Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey and Tim McGraw. Don't miss: Dave Grohl does a wonderful acoustic version of the Foo Fighters' "My Hero" and it's dedicated to selfless caretakers fighting Covid-19.


13. Sign up for Google Stadia's two-month free trial

Google Stadia

(Image credit: Google)

Google is lending a hand to self-isolators, offering a two-month free trial to Google Stadia, its game streaming service. This opens you up to nine free games, including GRID, Destiny 2: The Collection, Thumper, GYLT, SteamWorld Dig 2, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, Serious Sam Collection.

Our Google Stadia review notes that your mileage may vary depending on how your connection fares during this unprecedented work-from-home era. Faster speeds will get you better lag-free performance and 4K resolutions (although you have to switch it in the app, as it's set to 1080p by default on the free account).

14. Dive back into Final Fantasy 7 with the remake

(Image credit: Square Enix)